Our cities are more than just places to live. We live in the cities, and the cities live in us. Okay, enough poetry.
Once upon a time, 60 Lakh Indians came together to find the most livable cities in India. This is the story of transforming public participation.
In this fast-paced lifestyle, people don’t like to make time for stuff they don’t relate to, and we were faced with a challenge that wanted us to get 18 lakh Indians to fill out a survey to find the most livable and lovable cities of India.
Sit tight as we tell you about the time when millions of Indians cheered for their cities, even when it wasn’t about the IPL.
Before we jump into the sea of impact and witness a new wave of public participation, let’s adjust our briefs first.
The Ease of Living (EOL) Index by the Indian Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs ranks 264 cities on livability based on factors like governance, infrastructure, and sustainability. The citizen perception survey (CPS) conducted under EOL asks people about what makes their cities a great place to live and where there is scope for improvement.
We started by asking the following questions to understand what we need:
1. What does it take to unite people?
2. What makes people participate in movements?
3. What starts from one and reaches millions?
It is the one central idea crafted around people.
We needed that idea, and like any good experience design studio, we meticulously considered and applied an array of intricate and specialized factors to engage in interpersonal communication, ensuring the highest efficacy and efficiency in our information exchange.
Basically, we did ground research and talked to people. We had the following major observations after speaking with people from various cities who came from all walks of life, occupations, income levels, and interests:
1. People love talking about their cities.
2. People defend their cities.
3. They attach their identities to the cities they live in.
These observations guided us to the insight that people are the unofficial brand ambassadors of their cities and this drove all the communication around EOL to bring people together to share the stories of their cities.
Our cities are more than just places to live. We live in the cities, and the cities live in us. Okay, enough poetry. Through this insight, we arrived at a new problem statement that was around humans, and this human problem statement helped us craft the central idea we were looking for.
By reaching out to them not as a survey but as someone who is all ears for the stories they have about their cities. We went out there talking to people and listening to their stories under the umbrella #YehMeraSheher with a central message of My City My Pride.
We all love our cities, and the feeling of explaining the beautiful nuances, flavors, and aspects that make our city unique is just amazing. Citizens narrated the stories by creating doodles, clicking photographs, and writing postcards to their cities. You don't want to miss this beautiful exhibition of affection showcased on merashehar.co.in
To further spread the word, the Instagram filter ‘Guess The City’ and profile picture frames were also introduced and enjoyed by thousands of netizens.
To get more eyes on the EOL index, wall graffiti, and billboards were put out, along with QR codes that led to the survey.
#YehMeraSheher not only made a buzz on social media but also exceeded the success benchmark. MoHUA needed 18 lakh entries, but guess what? We received 60 lakh entries. Wow, now you are talking.
Also, while we are talking about the cities of India, you would want to check out the story of enabling Amritsar to curb carbon emissions auto-matically. (Mind the hyphen)
We hope you found this story as fascinating as we did. Until next time, play like a mouse and get all the cheese.